Dyke takes over at GMTV but denies crisis

GREG DYKE, chief executive of LWT, was yesterday hastily installed as chairman of the troubled ITV breakfast-time station GMTV.

Mr Dyke denied that there was a crisis at the station, which has had falling ratings since coming on air seven weeks ago, but the true scale of its problems was revealed when he refused to rule out the resurrection of Roland Rat, the puppet that he used so successfully to turn around TV-am's fortunes in the early 1980s.

The surprise off-screen replacement of Harry Roche of the Guardian and Manchester Evening News as chairman of the GMTV board comes two weeks after the sudden on-screen replacement of Mike Wilson, the main presenter. The loyal TV-am audience founded by Mr Dyke with help from Roland Rat was inherited on 1 January by GMTV but in just seven weeks it has lost more than 2 million viewers or 14.5 per cent of its weekly audience.

In its opening weeks it has failed to get its programming mix right and been hit by the appealingly manic charms of The Big Breakfast on Channel 4, which is delivering 6.5 million viewers a week compared to the 3.5 million, a year ago, of its axed predecessor, Channel Four Daily.

Mr Dyke said: 'The ratings are okay but more disappointing than we thought. We need to increase them by 15 per cent.' Christopher Stoddart, managing director, said that GMTV continued to turn away advertisers. But because of the smaller audiences, those advertisers were not paying as much as GMTV anticipated.

The station, jointly owned by Carlton, LWT, Scottish Television, Disney and the Guardian, has to pay pounds 34.6m to the Treasury annually as well as 15 per cent of advertising and sponsorship revenue.

The sudden installation of Mr Dyke, who has a reputation as the man who saved TV-am from certain disaster, puts a question mark over the future of Lis Howell, the station's director of programmes.

She attracted controversy after the station launched for emphasising the importance of the 'F-factor' - the fanciability of the station's presenters.

Mr Dyke refused to comment on the prospects for individual staff at the station but in an implied criticism of Ms Howell, said that while GMTV's journalism had improved recently, there had been 'not enough good popular stories and too many interviews with stars on couches'. The problem, he said, was not to do with presenters but with programming: 'Great presenters cannot improve poor programmes but poor presenters can do well with good ideas.'

He rejected criticism of the station as too downmarket and said he did not regard turning up the F-factor as a solution.

(Photograph omitted)

News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people
News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Life and Style
fashionThe Secret Angels all take home huge sums - but who earns the most?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

DT Teacher - Resistant Materials

£33000 - £34000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: Technology Teacher (Resis...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission, 1st yr OTE £30-£40k : SThree:...

Middleware Support Analyst

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?